I took the day off work yesterday for the funeral of Lisa's Aunt. That's her on the left, being savaged by a dog. Needless to say it was a sad occasion, but a day when you get to meet so many nice people can't be considered all bad. I had no idea Lisa came from such a good family.
Obviously Lisa and I could easily be late for our own funeral, but by some miracle we managed to be on time for somebody else's. Possibly because we left Amelie at home. Having joined the funeral procession at the family bungalow, we wound our way through Brighton at low speed (no change there then), and arrived at Woodvale Crematorium at lunchtime. I only work a headstone's throw from there and have driven past the place many times, but this was my first venture through the pearly gates. And I have to say I was impressed.
Brighton & Hove City Council have published a video tour of the place on their website, from which I've shamelessly stolen this picture...
That's the North Chapel, where the service took place. I stood at the lectern on the right to deliver a eulogy on behalf of Lisa's mother. She gave me permission to reword her tribute if necessary, so I took the liberty of changing the opening line. She'd begun by listing a few of her sister's favourite TV shows, and I was a bit concerned that if I got to my feet and announced "Cash in the Attic", I might start some kind of stampede. So I went with 'Deal Or No Deal' instead.
After a touching service and a chorus of 'All Things Bright & Beautiful', we made our way outside to admire the bouquets of flowers in the sunshine, before heading home to pick up Amelie. From there the three of us drove over to Lisa's cousin's house in Cooksbridge, an apt location as Lisa's Aunt used to be head chef at St Mark's C of E school in Brighton. And I'm pleased to say she passed on her skills to her daughter and grandchildren. Yesterday's buffet was heavenly. As was the lady we were gathering to remember. Her death might have deprived us of a dear friend, but it introduced me to some new ones in the form of Lisa's cousins, all of whom were as lovely as her Aunt. I'm definitely marrying into the right family.